How retirement savers can reduce RMDs

By: Brian Vnak

Required minimum distributions (RMDs) are the congressionally-mandated, annual taxable withdrawals from retirement accounts required of savers after they reach the age of 70½. The rules surrounding how and when to take RMDs are complicated and arcane, and taking them creates a ripple effect throughout your financial plan that could set you up for some unpleasant surprises. Those who... READ MORE

An alternative to Medicaid spend-down

By: Eleanor Laise

Picture this: Your spouse has made a permanent move to a nursing home. You don’t have long-term care insurance, Medicare won’t cover the cost, and you have too much money to qualify for Medicaid — but not nearly enough to afford the nursing-home bills. The monthly tab — easily $8,000 or more for a semi-private room — is rapidly depleting your nest egg. Now what? This is where a ... READ MORE

Banks inch up depositor interest rates

By: Ken Sweet

Slowly, but surely, being a saver is paying off again. For years after the recession, banks paid next to nothing on deposits — much to the detriment of savers everywhere. Now, banks have increased lending and need more deposits, so they’re willing to pay higher interest rates. The big publicly traded banks are paying roughly 0.40 percent on their deposits right now, which is up... READ MORE

More risks stemming from hack of Equifax

By: Liz Weston

Long after the Equifax breach was announced, people were still struggling to freeze their credit reports as credit bureau websites failed, lured people to look-alike products, or even redirected visitors to download malicious software. But that’s just the start of the gauntlet people may have to run to protect their financial lives. The Equifax hack exposed the names,... READ MORE

Are your bonds lowering or raising risk?

By: Eleanor Laise

Most retirees hold a mix of stocks and bonds, assuming that their bonds will not only generate income but also cushion the fall if stocks crash. But are your bonds really taming your portfolio’s risk — or amping it up? For much of the past two decades, bonds could be depended on to zig when stocks zag. But now, some analysts and money managers are warning that the correlation between ... READ MORE

Making the most of your donor dollars

By: Sandra Block

This year’s seemingly endless string of natural disasters has inspired countless acts of heroism and generosity. But as the year-end giving season begins, some philanthropy experts worry that a phenomenon known as “donor fatigue” could affect individuals’ willingness to support other worthwhile causes. Many global crises don’t get much news coverage in the U.S. For example,... READ MORE